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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

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and to enable all anti-Hitlerite forces to work together with the greatest
advantage against the common foe. During the last few weeks the Foreign
Secretary and I together have laboured with the Polish Government in
London with the object of establishing a working arrangement upon which
the Fighting Forces can act., and upon which I trust an increasing structure
of good-will and comradeship may be built between Russians
and Poles.
" I have an intense sympathy with the Poles, that heroic race whose
national spirit centuries of misfortune cannot quench,, but I also have
sympathy with the Russian standpoint. Twice in our life-time Russia has
been violently assaulted by Germany. Many millions of Russians have
been slain, and vast tracts of Russian soil devastated as a result of repeated
German aggression. Russia has the right of reassurance against future
attacks from the West and we are going all the way with her to see that she
gets it, not only by the might of her arms, but by the approval and assent of
the United Nations. The liberation of Poland may presently be achieved
by the Russian armies—after these armies have suffered millions of casualties
in breaking the German military machine. I cannot feel that the Russian
demand for a reassurance about her Western frontiers goes beyond the limit
of what is reasonable or just. Marshal Stalin and I also spoke and agreed
upon the need for Poland to obtain compensation at the expense of Germany
both in the North and in the West."
A few days prior to the outbreak of the March revolution in Petrograd,
during the First Great War, the Tsarist Government had received a
telegram from Paris in which the French Government agreed to
the Russians intentions of defining their western frontier at the cost
of the enemy—Germany. The same period of time, two and a half years,
was to elapse in the Second Great War before Russia's western partner
agreed to the demands of that country., and, on this occasion, it was ... at
the cost of another ally. In 1917, the French Government had informed
Petrograd by telegram; why the British Premier chose the medium of
public speech to announce the change of views of the British Government
in 1944 can only be surmised. Neither Britain nor the United States, as
. Eden and Cordell Hull both declared, ec had made any commitments
either at Teheran or Moscow to limit or exclude " British and American
" interest in certain parts of Europe." Already on December 15, 1943,
questioned in the House as to whether there was any secret understanding
in Teheran, Eden had answered promptly :—
<c I can also tell the House, lest there is any uneasiness about it, that we
have not entered into any kind of secret engagement or treaty or anything
which can cause anyone a sleepless night or a sleepless hour, and the Hon.
Member need not have any fear that the movement of power has been from
him to the Treasury Bench. I can give this undertaking, that as long as I
have anything to do with the conduct of the Foreign Office, if I make an
engagement I shall come and tell the House at once, which is the constitu-
tional practice, and, if they do not like it, they can turn me out/'
And again on February 23, Eden assured the House in the terms that
admitted of no equivocation that they " had not agreed to any sphere of
influence," they had accepted no barriers, and they " were absolutely